Contact Information308 Emerson
Department of Philosophy
Cambridge, MA 02138
bnickel at fas dot harvard dot edu
CV (in .pdf)
UpdatesI'm organizing a philosophy of language workshop. Details.
Recent PapersLots of work in progress. There are rumors of a book.
I joined the philosophy department at Harvard in the fall of 2006. I received my B.A. from Cornell and my Ph.D. from MIT. I graduated there in 2005, then took a year off and did some temporary teaching at Tufts.
Most of my work is in the philosophy of language. The general approach is to investigate foundational questions by tracing out the implications of competing positions for relatively specific phenomena. My particular case study is genericity in natural language--basically the phenomenon that many generalizations we make in ordinary life hold with exceptions.
The program is to defend truth-conditional, quantificational semantics for generics. The specific view I'm working out carries a number of commitments with it about fields adjacent to philosophy of language, especially philosophy of mind and science.